The government has indicated that for its post- COVID- 19 economic recovery plan to be successful, it needs adequate support from Ghanaians. Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah appealed Joy News’ PM Express program on Monday, March 15, 2021, monitored by Scooper News while contributing to a discussion on the 2021 Budget Statement.
According to him, the introduction of new fiscal measures by the government is creative and necessary to renew and save the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus pandemic. ” It’ s only fair that people focus on tax measures and ask questions about it. But this budget doesn’ t just introduce these revenue measures. The collection measures are necessary because we have a fiscal deficit of 11 to almost 12%. Debt over GDP is around 70%, in nominal terms 291 billion cedis. ” – He said
” The option that any government will have under these circumstances is to find creative ways to increase revenues and gradually bring the debt and deficit to a more responsible position. There are a multiplicity of reasons why we are here. Among them, the key is the COVID challenges we find ourselves in now. If you look at what COVID has done, it has moved us from 5% to 11% and an extra 6% of GDP. ” – He said.
The government, through the 2021 budget statement and economic policy, proposed new taxes on petroleum products, 1% of the COVID- 19 health rate on the VAT fixed- rate scheme, Sanitation and pollution (Borla) tax, and 1% of the rate National Health Insurance (NHIL) as part of revenue measures to help the economy recover of the effects of the global pandemic.
However, responding to the new proposed taxes, the Minister explained that it is to help the country recover from the setback and return the economy to its previous state. He said that for the government to succeed in its plan to recover the economy, it needs adequate participation from Ghanaians.
” So we can’ t escape the fact that we have to share the load right now. The real focus for me is that we rally around holding the government accountable for using the money for what it claims it is going to use it for. ” – He said.
The member of Parliament for Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region read the 2021 budget as Acting Finance Minister.